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How do you get going again after pregnancy?

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12/10/2007 at 09:36

Welcome to Tatty and Monkey Runner!  Tatty, agree that it's rubbish about runners having lighter babies - I'm tiny and mine was 8lb 4oz!  He's now 7 months and 17lb 4oz - how time flies!

Monkey Runner, I wouldn't say I didn't bond with Kit but I did find it hard to connect him with me as I also had an emergency C-section.  After 4 hours in labour it was discovered that he was undiagnosed breech, and although not in any distress they advised that a 'normal' birth was out of the question, especially given my small size.

I'm sure I read somewhere that it takes longer for your milk to come in after having a C-section.  I too found breastfeeding extremely difficult and didn't enjoy the experience at all.  The staff in hospital were very patient and helpful, but kept positioning Kit on the breast for me rather than helping me to do it on my own, which was no use once I was discharged.  Initially Kit would latch on but not suck, and while in hospital I had to express colostrum and feed it to him via a syringe so he received some nourishment.  When he did get the hang of sucking he would suck really hard and it hurt.  I tried to continue with the breastfeeding but just didn't seem to produce much milk, especially in the evening, and after a week we switched completely to formula.  At the time I felt guilty but in retrospect it was absolutely the right decision - he immediately thrived and had regained his birthweight within a week.  He was much happier, and because he was happy I was happy - plus I got some much-needed sleep as hubby took his turn with the feeding, which helped enormously.  It's very difficult to look at a situation objectively when you're physically and emotionally exhausted.

Don't underestimate how long it might take to recover from your C-section either.  I assumed I could just carry on as normal and failed to do as I was told as far as getting adequate rest was concerned.  Although I recovered quickly (which I put down to being so fit) in hindsight I should have taken things easier as by the end of every day I would be shaking, cold and unable to eat much.  I never napped during the day while Kit was asleep - instead I tried to keep on top of housework and emails and stuff.  Which of course I regret now - should have taken the opportunity to rest while I still could!

12/10/2007 at 13:52

Would concur with that, Janie.  I never felt let down that I didn't have a 'natural' delivery, although in a perverse way I was glad I'd had the experience of 4 hours or so of contractions so I knew what it was like.  I was just grateful in the end that I live in a society in which alternative forms of delivery are an option: Kit was a big baby relative to my size with a large head circumference and in breech presentation.  I shudder to think what might have happened had a Caesarean delivery not been available to me.

And because he was delivered by C-section he's always had the most perfectly shaped head!  Hubby says my scar, which has faded loads, looks like a smile  and we both think of it as Kit's escape hatch!

12/10/2007 at 14:05

Goodness things move on fast on here. Welcome to Tatty and MR, I remember MR but not Tatty. My memory of birth and after is fading very quickly, but I had a very different experience to most as was in hospiatl for 3 weeks after the boys were born as Harry had testicular torsion and then after an operation to remove his testicle he got septicaemia, all very stressful. On the plus side though I gave birth naturally, but with epidural, and I had loads of help in hospital mainly cos they were tube fed to start with and they wouldn't let you go home until they were feeding as couldn't risk them losing weight being so small. I bonded pretty well with them but found the first 2 days hard going as J was in SCUBU as had low blood sugar and was just under 2kg, H was just over. So I bonded well with him straight away. I think cos I couldn't feed them immediately I found it hard, sticking milk down a tube after expressing felt odd.

Take everyones advice and rest. Again i was lucky that in hospital I couldn't do house work and didn't have to cook, although food was grim (hubbie brought me in meals!!). I think he was more stressed and tired than me in those 3 weeks rushing around and coming into hospital and trying to work as well. When we got home I slept when they slept. If you can nap in the afternoon this sometimes helps with that awful early evening feed. Although I joined the one bottle of formula club at 8 weeks after a horrendous few days from that horrid 6-8 week growth spurt, only time I cried and cried and couldn't cope. Breast feeding is hard and I think it takes the babies a good 4-5 weeks to settle into it. After that it really does get easier as everyone tells you. We also had no nipple confusion. We gave them a bottle of expressed milk from 2-3 weeks at 10pm and I went to bed! I think H prefered boob and was most upset when I gave up at 6 months, but J wasn't bothered either way as long as he got fed!!

12/10/2007 at 15:48

Gosh, MM, didn't realise Harry had had to have a testicle removed - poor little mite.  I really feel for mums whose babies have to have surgery at such a young age, or are whisked off to special care.  I was only in hospital for 2.5 days - I don't think I really appreciated that a C-section is essentially major abdominal surgery and coming out of hospital so soon afterwards was physically much harder than I expected.  My hubby also brought me meals in as the food was utterly revolting (and I generally eat anything).

I remember being completely ravenous the morning after Kit was born.  I'd last eaten at 1:00pm on the day of his birth and he was delivered at 9:44pm.  I wasn't allowed anything to eat or drink once the decision to deliver him by C-section had been taken.  A midwife eventually came round at about 8am the next morning and offered me ONE SLICE of white bread with margarine - not even any jam!  She said that was all that was left in the kitchen.  You need to eat properly to recover so was very grateful to hubby for cooking meals and bringing them in.  He even turned up early each morning with muesli and fresh milk for me!

Funny how your memory of the birth does fade.  All I really remember is it taking ages to get me to theatre once they'd decided to operate; the anaesthetist being unable to get the epidural in for several attempts (ouch), and hearing Kit cry as he was lifted out - then seeing him for the first time

12/10/2007 at 15:55

Afternoon!

Well, not popped in for what feels like ages and of course, I will simply never catch up! Welcome in TB and MR and congratulations on your new arrivals, lovely to hear you are all well You'll find lots of advice and support on here as the weeks fly by.

My excuse for not coming in? Our internet was caput for two weeks (!!) and husband's computer was broken so he was on mine (still is, can't shift him back over now!) and then we were away last week in Venice. It went really well, I really enjoyed myself and Hector was such a little star - if you want to float around feeling like a godess who has the most beautiful baby in the world, then go to Italy, they adore babies and mummies and we were approached by smiling faces at all times...a few people even wanted to take our photo, weird!

I've also had a reccurrence of the food poisoning type thing I had a few weeks back so feel well and truly rough, have had a test sent off so we'll see if it's something that needs treating. Fingers crossed it's not, don't want to have to take anti-biotics whilst breast feeding (any experience anyone?).

Janie - Re: PF. I've not had it badly, just the odd twinge, but I know it's a tight tendon, so responds well to massage and stretching (rolling your heel on a golf ball is meant to help of you can stand the pain!) I know that Evil Pixie on the forum has it on and off, so she might have some advice. Hope you get rid of it soon, it sounds so uncomfortable.

Minks - am I picking up that you are now back at work? I hope it's going ok for you and not too much of a challenge/upset.

Hugs to all and sorry to be so rubbish at keeping up!

A xxx

12/10/2007 at 18:24

TB and MR Confratulations to you both.  Hope everything went well last night MR.  You and your baby need time to bond.  You might have been together for nine months but you didn't really get to know each other!  It is such a life changing event that hormones / emotions / practicalities can leave you quite drained.  Most important is caring for Megan (meeting needs), bonding will happen with time.

As for breastfeeding (I had a c section and still b'feed) it takes a while to get used to it - it is sore, tiring but this goes..... For me I had to make the most of it by sitting down in a room by myself and just staring at James.  It was a time to clear my head.  However, you have tried it and we are lucky enough that if it does not suit you can use formula. 

12/10/2007 at 21:18
Evening again

Thansk for all the helpful advice... reading back though the posts the advice and general support is fab. JT, what do you mean by last feed? Megain currently feeds about 9.30pm - take it you mean this one as a bottle feed? Something to try I guess - have decided to give breastfeeding another few days (prob till Megan 2 weeks old) and see how we get on.

Midwife is coming in to weigh Megan tomorrow, so will be interested to see if she is actually putting on weight as we go through phases where she is feeding every hour, then we'll get a 4-5 hour sleep, then back to feeding every hour again. Although today she has had a very upset tummy and bum and seems to have been in a lot of pain getting rid of wind and basically producing liquid nappies with alarming regularity! However, was out briefly to pick up my prescrption (now have a urine infection on top of everything else) and spied Infacol in the chemist - supposed to settle windy/colicky babies and can be used from brith. We gave her some before 5.00pm feed and I'm going to have to go wake her now for her next feed, so its obviously settled her.

Minks, agree with you entirely. I am seriously considering formula to give us a bit more certainity over things and to share the load with husband. But of course everyone assumes I am just tired and emotional from the birth and our trip to neonatal and can't hack persevering with breastfeeding. They may partly be right, but if formula restores my confidence and sanity surely this is better for both Megan and me. She is bound to be picking up on the fact that I'm not particularly "at one" with breastfeeding!!

Right, better go - I hear a small person demanding suppper.... thanks again for all the advice, tips and support.


12/10/2007 at 22:18

MR v quickly as usual - there is a drop in breastfeeding clinic over at Simpsons on a Tuesday afternoon.  I went once and although I wasn't over enamoured by it I think my problems were just too minor for them really to care.  I have to admit too that ever since going there the b/f has massively improved.  I found that it was far easier to express and feed Louise with a syringe when it was colostrum then when milk came in I also found it easier to express and give a bottle sometimes to give my poor nipples a break.   I now have nipples of steel but still express 3x a day - morning, 8.30pm and 11pm and I always have 6 bottles of expressed milk in fridge.  One prob we had was that my boobs got so full that they were rock solid and Louise couldn't get a latch on!!  Re infacol I have been told by HV that you have to use it before every single feed or else it's pointless - just to warn you!  Louise still struggles to pass wind and squirms and moans for up to an hour trying to get it through.  We have a monumental poop between 5 and 6pm which I now anticipate and change her nappy about half 4!!

sorry not to mention the rest of you but have skimmed v fast!  And agree nurseries are BLOODY expensive!

14/10/2007 at 09:56

Yes Minks. All very stressful. Operations on one week olds never easy to cope with. But he is a little tough fighter bless him. Harry also had tachycardia when he was born, so we've had visits to endocrine and cardiac clinics since he was born. Discharged from them both now though. He is producing high amounts of testostrone from his one remaining testicle bless him! Just have to think about prosthetic later on.

Can't believe they are one next week! Have had to pull out of race today as got yet another cold from the boys. Am beginning to wonder whether there is any point in aiming for races. Yesterday I was going to do it, then last night my cold moved on a level and am now very snotty with sore throat. I never used to get ill. A small downside of babies I guess. Am rather fed I have to say. Going to try and find another half in the next month as am pretty fit (

14/10/2007 at 21:06
Hello all

Well after a very random couple of days with Megan, we've decided that we need to try and enforce some routine because she's not for establishing one of her own. She sleeps well after some feeds but mostly just grizzles between feeds and isn't getting enough sleep. The midwife said to let her sleep and not wake her to feed but to be honest that wasn't working as she would have one long sleep and then grizzle for the next 6-7 hours. It was all so random that we just had no idea what was going on with her and we are exhausted.

So had a quick skim through Gina Ford and we started today trying to ensure we feed every 3 hours or so (sometimes its turned into 4 hours) to try and get her used to the feed/sleep routine which she just isn't in the groove with at all at the moment. Has anybody stuck to Gina Ford (religiously, loosely or otherwise) and had found it works? Or have you tried to adapt some of Gina Ford to your own routines.

She is also a very sucky baby so we have been trying a dummy today to get her settled. Much as I'm against dummies, DH and I are at the point where our sanity requires us to do something, and if settling her with a dummy is what it takes then so be it. She will eventually suck her thumb or finger I think - she is giving it a try every now and again but is still too young to master it yet I think!

JT and Minks - I didn't feel cheated, let down or a failure by having to have a c-section, you've got to roll with it in labour and do what it takes to get a healthy baby. I just felt it might have been more real to me if I'd actually delivered Megan vaginally, rather than the surreal process of being able to see the reflection of in the theatre operating lights of 2 people guddling about in your insides to pull out your baby!!

Righto... must go - yet another feed!

14/10/2007 at 21:34

Hi

 MR, we do a Gina Ford/Baby whisperer combo.  I try for the Eat Activity Sleep thing from baby whisperer but to be honest Louise tends to sleep such short times during the day that we are more like eat activity sleep activity eat.  I try to follow the gina ford thing of no more than two hours after baby awoke he should be back in bed and it does help.  We now do 3 hourly feeds fairly religiously and ever since we introduced some semblance of a routine our lives became much more manageable.  We do the following:

7.15 or whenever she wakes nappy change 

7.30 ish - 8.00ish feed

8.30 ish singsong in bed!

8.45 Dress Lou

9.00 dress mummy whilst Louise watches lying on bed.

9.30 ish - 10.00ish sleep

10.00 - 10.30 gym time!

10.30 feed (timing depends on first feed - it's always 3hrs from feed)

then some playtime until approx 11.30 - 11.45 when we try for a bigger sleep.  Rarely works but the plan is to get at least 45 mins and hopefully an hour.  There tends to be at least 20 min battle to get her to go down though. 

1.30 feed then more playtime

3.45 - sleep, usually about 30 mins max - quite often go out for a walk to get her to sleep at this time.

4.30 - 5.00 ish feed

6.15 bathtime

6.45 feed

7.15 bed

The key for us was establishing the 5pm - 7.30pm times as the rest of it all kind of fell into place after it.  Louise loves her bath so that works well.  It's just what works for you but I do find that if she is grizzling lots, such as this afternoon, a long walk tends to get her to nod off and it's good exercise for me too!

I don't know about the c section versus vaginal delivery.  I still forget I'm a mummy sometimes and after I gave birth I just lay on the bed til people came to visit and then when Lou started to cry I stated matter of factly that I hadn't touched her all day as I didn't know what to do with her.  think I was in shock but no one had come to me to tell me what to do!  My mum then showed me how to change her nappy and eventually we tried to feed.  Don't think it helped that it was a sunday as there was hardly any staff.

15/10/2007 at 10:05

forgot to mention the 11.15pm feed!

15/10/2007 at 14:03

I'm not fully ready to join you ladies just yet, but I'm another lurker....  Can I just ask a question on breastfeeding though please?  Does it have to be on-demand, or can you still attempt a routine of every 3 or 4 hours whichever as you might if you were using bottles?  I haven't a clue.......  My MLU wants all ladies to give breast a go, but will assist if you don't feel able or even want to so I know theres plenty of help around the corner.  Just wondered about establishing some sort of routine?  Is it possible?  EF - I know you were feeding initially yourself, are you still?

Not due for another 8+ weeks yet but wanted to try and get things like that in my mind before the Bean arrives and takes me unawares.  I know its all trial and error, but just wasn't sure.

Thanks Ladies.

DD xx

15/10/2007 at 14:09

Hi MR. I followed Gina's Contented twins book pretty religiously to start with just to establish the routine, but by 12 weeks we could be adaptable with the routine. Its all a matter of maths. Add up their sleep during their day and keep below her recomended sleep hours, if it all goes wrong cos you are out and about, but try to keep feeds roughly at the right times.

Both boys slept from 11pm till 7am from 12 weeks, which was fab given they were a bit prem, and slept through 7pm till 7am from 6 months. I think lots of what she writes is really useless other bits less so. She was insistent that with twins you should wake the same baby first each time to feed, but to be honest I could never remember who I had fed first last time, I did have a boob for each baby though one of her recommendations, so that helped to know who I had fed!!!!

Its hard in the beginning waking sleeping babies to feed them, but it pays off when they just fall asleep 9am, wake up at 10am, fall asleep for their lunchtime sleep and wake naturally at the right time. It also means you are feeding more in the day which equates to feeding less at night, all common sense really.

15/10/2007 at 14:10
I followed a routine DD and breast fed twins till 6 months. It worked really well, see above email.
15/10/2007 at 19:38

MR, we used the Gina Ford Contented Little Baby routines too, although not as religiously as some.  In the beginning we used to wake Kit at about 2:30am (or whatever it says in the book) but sometimes it took ages for him to wake up enough to feed as he might be sound asleep.  It did get him into a pattern of feeding once in the night though rather than randomly waking up, which was great.  After a while we just allowed him to wake naturally for his middle-of-the-night feed rather than waking him ourselves.  Like MM's twins, Kit slept from 11pm-7am from 11 weeks, then started going through 7pm-7am from 6 months when we started weaning.  I think he would have gone through from 7pm-7am sooner if we'd tried, but we were reluctant to cut out his 10:30pm bottle until he'd started solids.  We have always stuck to GF's suggested feed times fairly religiously though.

The one thing I haven't managed to do is follow GF's nap times.  I could never get Kit to last from 7am until 9am initially - he would always get tired by 8:30am so I just put him down early.  To start with he never wanted to sleep for very long and this meant that if I followed the idea of putting him down approximately 2 hours from when he last woke, he had to go down again at 11:30am.  So that's what I used to do.  As he's got older he goes longer between naps but his longest nap is always the morning one, not lunchtime as GF suggests.  I've tried making his morning nap much shorter but he still won't sleep longer at lunchtime so now I just go with him.  He normally goes down from about 9am-10:00/10:30am, then from 12:30-1:30/2:00pm.  At the moment he won't have an afternoon nap - if I put him in his cot he just cries until I get him up again.  Today he dozed off for about 10 minutes in his pram.  He seems to be OK without an afternoon nap so I'm not forcing the issue.

Did any of you find that your babies started rejecting their bottles one solids were well established?  Kit's cut back quite a lot over the past week and although he's still having the recommended 18-20oz per day some of the milk feeds are a struggle.  He's not quite proficient enough with a beaker yet to switch to putting his milk in one, so I guess I just have to ride this one out.  It could be his gums as he's just cut two upper teeth and it looks as though there are another two very close to breaking through.  He's having milk in his cereal and baby rice and I've been giving him cheese sauces and yoghurt or fromage frais so am assuming he's getting enough calcium etc.

MM, what a pain about your race.  I hope you manage to find another one to do soon so that your fitness doesn't go to waste.  I didn't get out for my long run yesterday either.  I don't know whether it was the curry I ate Saturday night or a small tummy bug but after violent diarrhoea and awful pains in my stomach when I woke up, I didn't really feel normal until the evening.  Had planned to run today but hubby stuck on Piccadilly line and still isn't home so will have to wait till tomorrow now. 

15/10/2007 at 19:38

DD, yes I am still feeding her myself.  She gets 2 bottles a day of expressed milk too and sometimes 3 if I am out and about - so today Lou got boob at 8.15am (she slept 11.30pm - 8.00am and I had to wake her!), boob at 11.15 then bottle at 2.15, boob at 5.15 and is presently downing a bottle of expressed.   I think we were more on demand at the start but that wasn't deliberate and I tried to stick to the EASY thing from the baby whisperer from the word go but I just hated to wake her for a feed!  Now I have no qualms about it!! 

MR it may seem ages away but if you decide to take Megan swimming then you can get cute little speedos out at Macarthur Glen. I just got two swimsuits for Lou, one for now and one for 6 months plus.  Both speedo and cost £4.50 for them both.  The bigger was £4 and the other 50p!!  Also M&S outlet have their bodysuits cheaper out there - I got 7 of the pink and white short sleeved bodysuits for £5!

15/10/2007 at 19:42
The naps in all the routines are too long for us, I am lucky to get Lou to sleep for 45mins at any time of the day.  I'll let her have a long nap whenever she wants it as usually it's a complete tussle to get her to go down at all.  She's gone without a middle of the night feed since 8 weeks so we've been totally spoilt by her and I let her do her own thing sleepwise.  If it ain't broke don't try and fix it!
15/10/2007 at 19:47
I forgot - achieved my 5K target yesterday!  Had given myself til the end of October to do a sub 25 min 5K and on Sunday I managed 24.44. Took 55s off previous time.  Yippee!!
15/10/2007 at 21:55

MR, I am pretty much in the same boat as you. Have had about 4 terrible days with JP, and got to the end of my tether today! Had to get Ben to come home from work because I just didn't think I could cope anymore. Basically I have been b/feeding exclusively and enjoying it when it was going well, but just recently JP has wanted to feed constantly and won't settle at all (has only had about 6 hours sleep in the last 24!). Have given him a formula supplement tonight and he is a bit better, but not much. Going to try some GF tomorrow and see how I go! Fingers crossed. xx

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